First, our sympathies go out to the families and staff of Accent Signage in Minneapolis who were affected by the tragic shootings last week. It appears that a just-fired employee killed four employees and a delivery driver and seriously wounded two more employees.
Workplace violence is a complex issue, especially when mental illness is involved. Even the best programs may not be able to prevent an incident, but it may help reduce the severity. Zero tolerance policies are important, as are a plan to prevent violence and what to do if it happens.
As with so many other workplace hazards, we never think it can happen in our business, but it can.
Minnesota Workplace Consultation offers free assistance with developing workplace violence prevention programs. Here is a link.